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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  August 12, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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08/12/16 08/12/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! as republican presidential nominee donald trump lays blame on obama for the wars engulfing the middle east, we'll look at a remarkable new report on what's happened in the region since the u.s. invasion of iraq in 2003. we'll speak with journalist scott anderson, author of "fractured lands: how the arab world came apart." his story takes up the entire print edition of the "new york times magazine."
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but first, -- we will speak with pulitzer prize winning reporter james grimaldi of the "wall street journal," who has covered the clinton foundation for years. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. a series of bomb blasts in thailand have hit three of the country's most popular tourist resorts killing four people and wounding dozens. there were at least 11 explosions in total. no group has claimed responsibility. the blasts comes days after the country voted to accept a military-backed charter in a referendum. human rights watch warned that thailand is moving toward become a military dictatorship. brad adams, the group's asia director said -- "instead of the long-promised
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return to democratic civilian rule, the new constitution facilitates unaccountable military power and a deepening dictatorship." in campaign news, the "new york times" and the "gannett" newspaper chain have petitioned the new york supreme court to unseal records from donald trump's 1990 divorce with ivana trump. unsealed records could determine if ivana directly accused trump of raping or sexually assaulting her during their 14-year marriage. according to the book "lost tycoon," ivana used the word "rape" during one deposition in the divorce case. she later softened her language, saying she felt violated during an encounter where donald trump reportedly held back her arms and pulled out fistfuls of her hair. donald trump's former north carolina campaign director has resigned after being accused of pulling a gun on at least five people, including campaign staffers.
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the director, earl phillip is , named in a new lawsuit filed by a staffer who claims phillip pointed a loaded .45 caliber pistol at him and then placed the barrel of the gun on his knee while they were driving in south carolina earlier this year. phillip remained in his position even after the staffer notified senior trump officials. meanwhile, hillary clinton traveled to warren michigan to outline her economic vision just days after donald trump spoke in detroit. clinton accused trump of paying lip service to being on the side of average americans. mrs. clinton: there is a myth that somehow he is really on the side of the little guy. don't believe it. amy: a panel of federal judges has ordered north carolina to redraw its legislative districts saying the current ones are unconstitutional and racially gerrymandered. in a statement the reverend william barber of the north
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carolina naacp said -- "this ruling is a tremendous ruling that the republican-led legislature used racial discrimination to undermine the power of the black vote and other minority voters, which is contrary to our constitution and our democracy." despite the ruling, the judges have allowed the current voting maps to be used in the november election. late last month, a federal appeals court also struck down voting restrictions in north carolina, saying they disproportionately affected african americans. federal election commission member ann ravel has proposed a new ban on political contributions by domestic subsidiaries of foreign corporations. ravel said the issue is no longer a "hypothetical concern" citing a recent report in the intercept exposing how a chinese-owned firm donated money to jeb bush's campaign. such donations can now be made thanks to the supreme court's citizens united ruling. the intercept's lee fang talked about his reporting on democracy
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now! >> we looked at some of the largest corporate donations to presidential super pacs and tried to find out their ownership structure. by chance, we found that one of the largest corporate donors to the jeb bush super pac, right to rise, was owned or is owned by two chinese nationals, permanent residents of singapore, and they gave $1.3 million to the jeb bush super pac. amy: the drug enforcement administration has rejected requests to stop classifying marijuana as a dangerous drug with no medical use. this means marijuana will remain a schedule i drug -- the same as heroin. while 25 states have approved the medical use of marijuana, the department of health and human services maintains there is "no accepted medical use in the united states." meanwhile, in a separate decision, the government has announced it will start allowing more universities to start
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growing marijuana for research purposes. currently it is only allowed at the university of mississippi. in news from los angeles, democracy now! has obtained a video from the aftermath of the police killing of a 14 year old mexican-american jesse romero who died earlier this week. police say they were responding to a call about teenagers writing graffiti in the early neighborhood of boyle heights. police say they shot and killed fromfter he ran away police and fired a gun. but witnesses contradict the police claim. the video, which begins just after the shooting, shows officers standing over the boy's body on the sidewalk, then handcuffing him. jesse romero was a student in middle school. she would have turned 15 on august 24. -- he would have turned 15 on august 24. in news from florida, more information has come to light about the police officer who fatally shot a 73-year-old
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retired librarian during a police training exercise earlier this week. the woman, mary knowlton, had volunteered to participate in a shoot/don't shoot exercise as part of the citizen police academy. she died after the officer lee coel accidentally shot her with live ammunition. last year, coel was accused of using excessive force when he let his police dog severely maul a man who was pulled over for biking without a headlight or taillight. the incident was caught on video. down. get down. get down. get down. get down on your face. get down. get on your face. >> i am. corrects stop resisting. [screaming] amy: the officer has been placed on administrative leave. in north dakota, 14 people were
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arrested thursday protesting the $3.8 billion dakota access pipeline that will stretch from north dakota to illinois. the protest was led by members of the standing rock sioux tribe which has been staging , nonviolent protests against the pipeline for months. >> [chanting] amy: the tribe maintains the pipeline is being built in violation of the national preservation act. ecuador has announced it will allow swedish prosecutors to interview wikileaks founder julian assange in its london embassy where assange has been living for five years. -- for more than four years. swedish authorities want to question assange about allegations of sexual misconduct, although charges have never been filed.
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he has been confined to the embassy fearing if he were to attempt to leave, he would be arrested by british police. he ultimately fears he would be extradited to the united states where it is believed there is a sealed indictment against him over wikileaks release of documents. in argentina, the mothers of the plaza de mayo held their 2000th march in buenos aires on demanding justice for their thursday, children who went missing during the country's military dictatorship. the mothers have been staging regular protests in the plaza de mayo since 1977. hebe de bonafini is president of the groups. children, all the 30,000 missing, 15,000 who were shot in the streets, the 8900 political prisoners and more than 2 million in exile who have all become our children, this is no small thing. it is a heavy burden of so many children. but it is so beautiful, so
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amazing, so unique. i think that are no women like us and the world with the strength and our bellies, in our hearts, in our bodies with so much responsibility for our children whom we love. whom we love and whom we continue to defend. amy: thursday's march in argentina came just days after the united states declassified documents showing that former secretary of state henry kissinger thwarted the state department's efforts to stop the mass killings by instead praising argentina's military leaders in 1978. one of india's most famous movie stars has been stopped for at least the third time while entering the united states sparking new outcry over racial , profiling. last night, shah rukh khan, who is known as the king of bollywood, tweeted to his 20 million followers a message reading -- "i fully understand and respect security with the way the world is, but to be detained at u.s. immigration every damn time really really sucks." and in new hampshire, republican
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senator kelly ayotte was confronted by an unusual type of protest. as she ran in a 5k road race in manchester, a group of climate activists began running with her wearing donald trump masks. they urged her to drop her support for trump. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. newly released state department emails are raising questions about the close ties between the clinton foundation and the state department during hillary clinton's time as secretary of state. the 44 emails include exchanges between top members of the clinton foundation and clinton's top state department advisers, including huma abedin and cheryl mills. cnn reports the fbi wanted to investigate the clinton
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foundation earlier this year, but u.s. attorney general loretta lynch pushed back. on thursday, state department spokesperson elizabeth trudeau denied any improper communication between the clinton state department and the clinton foundation. >> the department's actions under secretary clinton were taken to advance administration policy as set by the president in the interest of american foreign-policy. with statement -- the state department is not aware of any action that were influenced by the clinton foundation. amy: one of the newly released e-mail exchanges is about billionaire nigerian-based developer gilbert chagoury, who contributed between $1 million and $5 million to the clinton foundation. the emails show a top clinton foundation executive writing to abedin and mills asking for help putting chagoury in touch with the u.s. ambassador to lebanon. abedin responded, "i'll talk to jeff," referring to then-u.s. ambassador jeffrey feltman. on wednesday, chagoury's
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spokesman said chagoury "was simply passing along his observations and insights about the dire political situation in lebanon at the time." for more, we are joined by pulitzer prize winning journalist james grimaldi. he's a senior writer at the "wall street journal" and has covered the clinton foundation since 2014. welcome to democracy now! james, europe and covering the clinton foundation for years. can you talk about what this suggestsoup of e-mails and how significant it is about the relationship between the clinton foundation under secretary of state hillary clinton and -- between the state department under clinton and the clinton foundation? >> i think this confirms what we sort of knew. there are obvious ties and relationships -- the key tie would be douglas band, who was a top aide to bill clinton.
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he helped bill clinton create the clinton foundation and sort of devised how he would spend his days in retirement. he was very close, of course, to cheryl mills and huma abedin. at one point he was employing a contractor to huma abedin hu as was working at the state department. ma during this time of the lebanese elections, he sent an e-mail, as you describe now, regarding one of their greatest benefactors, mr. chagoury, and suggested that the state department have the person who was a lead of the ambassador to lebanon speak to mr. chagoury. it shows how donations to the clinton foundation when access to state diplomatic -- state department diplomatic officials. it is sort of begging the
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question, if he had not given that money to the clinton foundation, whether he would have had that kind of easy access. i would say it would probably be unlikely. it certainly would not happen as swiftly. possibly, the state department ambassador might have consulted with this person regarding that issue, but it sure shows or seems to create an appearance of conflict of interest that bought access by making this donations to the clinton foundation. juan: speaking of the issue of conflict of interest, you noted during her confirmation hearings as secretary of state, secretary clinton specifically said she would take "extraordinary steps to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest." how well do you think she has followed through on that promise? >> well, over the past year, we have looked at that issue. and what i did was i went into the lobbying records to see which companies and other
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entities were lobbying the state department, and also looking to see how many of them had given to the clinton foundation. and one of our findings was that at least 60 copies of lobbied the state department, had given as much as $26 million, and many of those kind -- companies, 44 of the 60, had participated in are they call commitments philanthropic projects that were valued by the clinton foundation at 3.2 billion dollars. so then we went to look and see if mrs. clinton had done anything for these companies. at the time they were making these gifts. we looked at several companies electricoeing, general , and microsoft and others, walmart, who seemed to have been getting favors from mrs. clinton perhaps for good reason -- promoting american companies and american jobs. it also coming at the same time that there were donations going
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to the clinton foundation. amy: you wrote an extensive piece, james, last year about clinton's complications with ubs. can you talk about that, just as an example? >> that is one of our deeper dives into one of the banks that was involved. clinton is very close to a lot of the wall street banks. in this case, with ubs. they were in a bind. they whistleblower had come forward, an american who is helping ubs fined americans who wanted to dodge taxes. in switzerland, literally recruiting them to open an account in switzerland that would then be hidden from the .nternal revenue service he blew the whistle. the government, iris, doj wanted 50,000 accounts a new about in which americans were hiding ines, hiding their income the ubs-swiss bank accounts. so they would not be taxed.
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in the end, ubs did not want to provide those names because there was a law in switzerland that said they could not reveal that kind of confidential information. in the end, they only gave about 5000 of those 50,000 names. and we sell the donations from ubs to the clinton foundation increase from a little under $60,000 to $600,000, plus they participated in a $30 million inner-city loan program, and then hired bill clinton to do speeches around the country for $1.5 million. juan: of course, ubs was not all he closely tied with the clintons, as i recall, robert wolf, the head of ubs americas, was one of the big fundraisers for president obama -- in fact, famously was playing golf with president obama when the justice department announced this deferred prosecution agreement with ubs on this issue of the
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accounts. so there seems to have been -- you also raise the issue of whether other foreign-policy objectives of the government were not included in the negotiated deal to eventually get switzerland to give up at least some of those bank accounts? >> right. we know this, thankfully, to wikileaks, the cables that were obtained under wikileaks happen to be the snapshot in time when these discussions were going underway. what we saw was when the swiss foreign minister came to hillary clinton and said we really would like to take care of this ubs problem, hillary said, well, we have a few things we would like as well. this was a time the clinton administration -- i'm sorry, the obama administration was eager to close guantanamo bay. mrs. clinton was pressuring switzerland to take some of the less dangerous detainees, and particular, some chinese uighers
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who were deemed not particularly dangerous, which they eventually agreed to do. between the united states and switzerland regarding ubs. evolution ofthe the clinton foundation. i mean, not long before hillary clinton announced for president, didn't they rename the clinton foundation the bill/hillary/chelsea clinton foundation? >> right. she became very, very involved in the fundraising between the time she left the state department and when she announced her run for the presidency. she helped raise as much as $250 million from many of the same corporations in order to beef up the endowment to give the clinton foundation running in the future. in addition, she was giving a lot of speeches, as was bill
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clinton giving speeches, that were being paid -- as famously we know bernie sanders up the fact that she was taking money from wall street and banks to 200ng speeches up $50,000 a pop. we may hear a little bit more about that today or in the coming days because we understand the clinton campaign is getting ready to release the tax we already know some of this from her personal financial disclosure forms, but we might see additional information coming out of her tax returns today. juan: what about the public /private partnership that clinton established while she was secretary of state with some major corporations, and the relationship of those corporations to the clinton foundation? >> well, exactly. you know, there is usually never a stop in what you can do in terms of contributions you can make to the various clinton pots.
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you have moneyou can donate to the foundation. you can partner at the state department there are these partnerships between the clinton foundation and corporations. some of that money in expo in china for the chinese world fair that they held their. mrs. clinton at the state department was very eager to see those being billed just built because under the bush administration, he really had reached a point where they had not raised enough money to even have a pavilion. that you can see money coming from corporations to their own personal wallet am a there purses, campaign contributions. it just seems as if there are many, many places you can make a contribution and you can partner with either mrs. clinton at the state department or get involved at the clinton foundation. amy: i want to turn to a clip of hillary clinton on cnn in june.
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anderson cooper asked her about the lack of transparency of donations to the clinton foundation from foreign countries. mrs. clinton: we had absolutely overwhelming disclosure, where there are one or two instances that slipped through the cracks? yes. but the overwhelming amount was disclosed. amy: but there you have hillary clinton saying this. james grimaldi, you talk about what happened when president obama tapped her to be secretary of state? and what were the rules around what would happen with the clinton foundation? he also respond to the clip. i was a the disclosure is underwhelming. yes, they have disclosed more than their required to under internal revenue law, but when they disclose it, they don't tell you the date. they don't tell you the amount. the disclosure is very skimpy.
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someone to make a donation -- the only way you know is if they have increased in one category to $5ay $1 million to $59 million to $10 million. placed nextasterisk to the name that is released orderly. it is very opaque, i think him in terms of what is disclosed. disclosure was required by the obama administration when she came in, but they were very vague about what those rules would be. i think -- also, for any fundraiser that was to be done, they were supposed to consult with the ethics officers at the state department. so far we've only seen a handful of examples were the ever said no. and in those cases, they were in sort of the extreme. bill clinton wanted to give a speech in north korea. i think there may have been some efforts where he wanted to raise
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some money in china as well. we have obtained any of those .isclosure requests in fact, there are others still coming out through some of these e-mails. but like i said, it does not look like -- amy: did they change a roll around countries, that countries the clinton foundation would not accept contributions from countries, but then that changed? courts right. what they did was, they said we don't only raising money from foreign governments because she is going to be, obviously, dealing with foreign governments. so they stop doing that. what we realized when -- they're very quiet. they did not announce it. they posted on their website 2015 for the previous year that we saw that, immediately, the clintons had gone back to many of these middle eastern
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countries, the united arab emirates, saudi arabia, and others, that would have raised some questions. so in other words, in this time in between when she was at the state department and when she ran for -- announced her run for president, they ended up going back to the very countries that some people had raised a lot of questions about. many have raised questions about raising money from these governments and many of these sheikhs in saudi arabia and countries that have questionable human rights and certainly do not have equal rights for women. juan: to your knowledge, this issue of foreign governments donating, philanthropy, is there any other philanthropy in the u.s. that has comparable donations from foreign governments as the clinton foundation? >> well, probably not at this scale. but i do know there are certain government entities that make
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contributions must sort of like we do with usaid. i know switzerland, you know, we'll have come i think, a donates.hat the canadian state department was making contributions, coming from the same agency that was lobbying the clinton -- i'm sorry, lobbying the state department regarding the xl pipeline. obviously, canada wanted that pipeline to come through. it was eventually stopped. but there were donations from that same canadian state department that went to the clinton foundation around the time that -- that is one that slipped through in terms of a government donation, around the same time that they were lobbying hillary clinton to accept the keystone xl pipeline. amy: how to saudi arabia fit into this picture, james? >> sheikhs and others that have
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made the donations. they are big donors. as is all be dobby. there is a story that talked about abu dabi donating around the time, their upstart airline wanted to receive a u.s. customs facility in their airport. it was like --, friendly, not a very common route, and it was sort of a plum get for them to get this preclearance facility for their airline. amy: you write that bill clinton received $1 million for two appearances sponsored by the abu dabi government, the united whilemirates, hillary clinton was secretary state. >> the tourism run by abu dabi, but one of the big participants was the very airline that wanted this special facility, the
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preclearance facility, at their airport. juan: you have written about the clintons relationship to the energy pioneer solutions. uld you talk about that company and at it was seeking? >> i interesting company. it was founded by scott clip, a candidate for congress in nebraska. one ofe happens to be the big opponent of the keystone xl pipeline, so very well known in nebraska. but interesting, this company which weatherized homes and put in insulation, had as its co-owners, the treasurer of the democratic natiol committee, mark weiner, an official close to bill and hillary clinton going back to the 1970's and to their 1992 campaign. he recently passed away during the democratic national convention and bl clinton mentioned him in his speech at
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the convention. bill and hillary both went to his funeral. he was a co-owner, as was a woman who lives about three miles from bill and hillary's house in new york. this company received a $2 million commitment that was arranged at the clinton foundation, and the clinton global initiative. and bill clinton called the energy secretary steven chu and order to get them an $840,000 grant. that has raised some questions about whether the clinton foundation is being used to sort of feather the nests of many of their friends. amy: this is a for-profit company. >> it is. very unusual for for-profit company to get a federal grant from the department of energy. the company is not doing too well, as i understand it. they are reconfiguring their business plan. it is not worked out as i think they had expected, but i think
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it may still be incorporated in nebraska. amy: a big issue that has been raised, the relationship of the close advisers to hillary clinton in the clinton foundation cheryl mills who goes back to being bill clinton's attorney, defending him during the impeachment hearings in congress. now the right-hand person of hillary clinton, and one of the issues raised in this e-mail -- in the e-mails is she went to new york on her own dime, they're saying, took a train up to help choose the new head of the clinton foundation. many issues here with that, james -- any issues here with that, james? >> she's at the center of anything involving hillary clinton at the state department. she is basically hillary's consiglio re:. she is the keeper of the clinton
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secrets. she would be the enforcer at times when clinton might've been pushing too hard for some of these questionable donations. there's no question she was sort of in the middle of every major decision that has ever been made by the clintons, very, very close advisor to bill and hillary clinton and very close to hillary and effect had an official position in the state department. amy: could the clinton foundation exist as it is now if hillary clinton is president? well, bill clinton was asked that question. he is not really answered it. he says he does not want to chat his chickens before they are has. i think all of the people around bill clinton including people in the clinton campaign say is really no way they can continue to operate. and i think that will is pushing back on that, from what we understand, that he wants to continue to do some of the good work that they do -- for example, helping to negotiate
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aids drugs in africa a better prices, the clinton health initiative i think really was to continue to raise money. many of these foreign donations are actually going to the clinton health initiative. i think there is a tension between the clinton campaign for president and the clinton foundation about what exactly will happen. just negotiation's are well under cover. they're not transparent. we do not know what they are a what will happen. i do not for close the possibility the clinton foundation will continue to operate and they will raise my from some of the same places. questionseally, these need to be asked of the clinton campaign if she plans to continue, whether bill plans to continue to run the clinton foundation as it is, what it will look like and how it will raise money. amy: james grimaldi, thank you for being with us, pulitzer
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prize winning journalist. senior writer at the "wall street journal" and has covered the clinton foundation for many years. we will link to his articles at we will be back, looking at trump's latest claim that president obama and hillary clinton are the founder of isis. we will go way beyond that, remarkable full issue of the "new york times magazine" is coming out this weekend with one author. we will be speaking with him, scott anderson, looking at the wars of the middle east since the u.s. invasion of iraq in 2003. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: we turn now to the wars engulfing the middle east, a topic which has resurfaced as part of the 2016 presidential campaign.
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speaking at a campaign event on thursday, republican presidential candidate donald trump said barack obama and democratic candidate hillary clinton created the islamic state. >> our government is in giving us good protection. our government has unleashed isis. i call president obama and hillary clinton the founders of isis. they are the founders. in fact, i think we will give mostry clinton the valuable player, m.v.p., you get the m.v.p. award will step isis will hand her the most viable player award. her only competition is barack obama, between the two of them. juan: on thursday, conservative video talkshow host hugh hewitt asked trump to clarify his comments. questions.o more last night said the president was the founder of isis. i know you meant. he created the vacuum --
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mr. trump: he is the founder of isis. he is the most viable player. -- valuable player. killt he is trying to them. mr. trump: he was the founder. amy: there you have donald trump 'sswering to hewitt questions. this comes as a report by the syrian center for policy research finds the death toll in syria has reached nearly half a million people. in april, president obama announced the deployment of 250 more special operations troops to syria in a move that nearly doubles the official u.s. presence in syria. syria is only one of a number of ongoing conflicts in the middle east. last year, a record 60 million people around the world were forced to flee their homes, becoming refugees. well, reporter scott anderson examines all of this and much more in a remarkable report published in this week's "new new york times magazine" called "fractured lands: how the arab world came apart." it examines what's happened in the region in the thirteen years since the u.s. invasion of iraq in 2003.
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it is told through the eyes of six people. in egypt, libya, syria, iraq, and iraqi kurdistan. the report also includes a photographs, a virtual-reality video that allows the viewer to embed with the iraqi fighting forces during the battle to retake fallujah. scott anderson is also the author of the book "lawrence in , arabia: war, deceit, imperial folly and the making of the modern middle east." welcome to democracy now! it is great to have you with us, scott. the entire issue of "new york times magazine." first, respond to a donald trump is saying -- again, for those going around saying this is a metaphor. she hewitt said, you mean they created a vacuum. he made it very clear, he said, no, barack obama and hillary clinton are the founders of isis. talkingis a republican point that is enough for couple of years which is a withdrawing
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american troops from iraq in 2011, the obama and administration created the vacuum that allowed isis to step in. what is conveniently forgotten and that whole issue is that it is in fact the bush and administration that negotiated the withdrawal of american troops in the spring and summer of 2008. they negotiated with the regime to have american troops extend on, pretty substantial military presence in iraq going forward. what that found it on, the malaki resume when i get -- give service members american servicemembers immunity from any crimes they might commit in the country. on that basis, the bush and administration, not the obama administration, announced they were pulling all troops out of iraq by 2011. so this trump idea i think is a carry on from this talking point
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that his been floating for the past couple of years. in 2007 withrump wolf blitzer on cnn when he said, what you want to happen -- here come out against the war in iraq. in 2007, he said the u.s. should just get out now. >> of course he did. it doesn't surprise me at all. he seems to be taking both sides of the issue for a number of years. epic i want to get to your piece. i think what is important to me, in this country, we sever so much from historical and leisure. in a newspaper or magazine piece, you attempted to the history before the unit is they even began to get involved in the middle east to lay the base problems in the most failed european andck to colonialism. >> that's right. if you look at the 22 nations in the air world and if you look at the three that have been torn
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apart, and the so-called arab, syria, iraq, and libya. it is not coincidence those are also three of the very small group of countries that were created from whole cloth by the western colonial powers. in each of those countries, what you have is a very weak sense of national identity. juan: and this is from the remnants from the -- >> they're all part of the ottoman empire. fragile sense of national identity. in all three cases, you had these very brutal to tell a terry and dictators -- totalitarian dictators come in. they were trying to forge a sense of national identity. spring, summer saying muammar gaddafi overthrown, what people's primary loyalty goes to is not
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to the state often, but to the tribe, to their clan. amy: explain, though, for people who do not understand how countries get created -- especially, younger people, now -- what you lay out so well in this he's, how these countries were carved up. [nonder the ottoman empire audio] the very weakness of the ottomans, they turn to their strength. it was a very weak central empire. they gave a different provinces in different regions major taxes and military conscription rates. your kind of free to run yourself as you saw fit. very little came down from constantinople. germansorld war i, the
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on the losing side. the winners from world war i, especially great britain and france, they saw the ottoman empire -- they called it the great loot. theywas the spoils of war could divide up. they came to the middle east and they formed these artificial states. iraq is essentially joining the other three autonomous ottoman provinces. and kurdish component in the north. syria, the opposite. greater syria encompasses enormous area that today would be lebanon, syria, israel, jordan. kind of this greater syria region, they divided it up into sort of more manageable parcels. in the case of libya, you had three provinces under the ottomans that were very distinct.
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in that case, the italians joined them together in creating this colony of libya. juan: in the arab spring, you have convulsions across the middle east, but you note those nations that had more historical development, like egypt, managed to somehow survive intact without this kind of civil war. but the ones created artificially are the ones who of sever the most? >> that's right. there's a commonality to the country's that a fractured apart. egypt is a sad case in his own right. for different reasons. but i don't think there's ever been a realistic fear in egypt that it is going to somehow fracture apart because certainly in egypt there's a sense of national identity going back thousands of years. these six figures he used to illustrate. take us through the crises in
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these countries and in egypt, talk about the young woman that you profiled. >> in egypt. of this matriarch political dissident family that she has been active in resistance against the dictatorship going back to the 1970's. she was against an orthodox and then under -- anwar sadat, and she and her husband, who is now deceased, she was in thetahrir quare, at the forefront. she has children who all became activists. amy: we have talked to for grilling her son who has been imprisoned and her daughters. >> and two of the three children are in prison for extended periods. the interesting thing about leila, very early on, even before mubarak was overthrown in
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shet a 12 day revolution, showed signs of the revolution being subverted. she was lobbying for the political leadership in the country, to essentially seize power. she was basically telling women, do not let the military step into this. she was not listened to. really, what has happened in egypt over the last four or five it is the disaster foretold. amy: we have to go to break and we will come back to this discussion. we are talking to scott anderson a contributing writer for the magazine."'simes article is the entire issue without any advertisements, of the magazine called "fractured , lands: how the arab world came apart." this is democracy now! we will be back in a minute. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. we are talking with scott anderson, and "the new york times" did something unusual. the entire issue of the "new york times magazine" is devoted to one article, which is divided into a number of parts, called "fractured lands: how the arab world came apart." scott anderson's most recent book is called "lawrence in , arabia: war, deceit, imperial folly and the making of the modern middle east." juan: i want to ask you, one of the people you profiled, a
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former isis fighter in iraq stuff you also interviewed about 20 other former isis fighters. what did you learn from those interviews and from his story? >> there is an amazing pattern. as you say, i interviewed just around 20 basis fighters, all in prison either in a rack or incurred a stand now. the one pattern i found over and over again was these were all young men was very bleak futures , either unemployed or underemployed from working class families. , and not religious at all. not religious at all. according to them, they were not from religious families. they did not know the koran very well. in a couple of cases, i knew the koran better than they did.
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they were not recruited in mosques. they joined because their buddies join. they saw stuff on social media. -- they'd had all seen the isis videos. i think it was this decision that young men make that better to live large for a couple of years, you know, the power and so-called glamour -- the power that comes of carrying a gun. and worry about what happens in the future to our three years down the road. -- two or three years down the road. certainly my experience, in these kind of foot soldiers, the grunts, primarily the isis members i have talked with, they inner-cityin to an gang or anarco gang in mexico. impulse.t in polls --
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adventure. juan: a different perspective than what we get, these are religious zealots are willing to die for islam. >> it is very different. and like a lot of cults -- you mentioned a character on the subject of the article, he was brought in by his older brother. he was 19 at the time and his brother was 26. part of his basic training was to execute six different prisoners of isis on six different occasions. there was this brutalizing process where they brought them out of the barracks and he was told he at issue summit in the back of the head six different times. at this point, he is in. it is like being in a cult and now you are there. in his view, there was no way to get out once he had signed up. amy: you have an amazing part of
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the end of part one of your article, october 2002 at right around the time the u.s. congress voted to authorize war was to hillary clinton voted to authorize the invasion of iraq. you interviewed muammar gaddafi and ask them who would benefit of the iraqi invasion actually occurred. you write, the libyan dictator had a habit of theatrically pondering before answering my questions, but it's reply to that one was instantaneous. bin laden, he said, there's no doubt about that. and iraq could end up becoming the staging ground for al qaeda f sedan classes, it will collapse. these are the words of the libyan leader who ruled for 42 years. talk about that. prissy andbsolutely what was going to happen in iraq.
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i've been trying to get an interview with muammar gaddafi from was three years. i finally get it, i'm convinced, because by october, automotive 2002, the drumbeat for war in iraq was really building. it seemed pretty clear the antiwar demonstrations were going to have an effect -- were not going to have an effect, we were going in. muammar gaddafi was worried he was going to be next, after the bush administration overthrew saddam hussein, they were coming after him. the bush and ministration were floating that out. they had a hit list and gaddafi was on it and assad. i would inspect -- and spent three weeks in libya. muammar gaddafi was right. everything he predicted came true to a tee. amy: did he talked about what
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would happen to him? , andvery interesting thing one of the interviews, it was honest my last question to him, cut a platitude i said, how would you like to be remembered? he was so arrogant about his position in libya. i hopeted saying, well, to be remembered as selfless, that i gave to my people, these kind of throw away answers. then he paused for a second, he chuckled and leaned remain and leaned hope this is just towards me and said, i hope this is true. he had -- i don't think he had overlue what was coming, and over again, i don't think posting the correct, up until mubarak had toi
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resign, i don't think he thought he was going to go. but there are so inoculated, that they just really lost touch with reality. juan: i went to ask you a bigger question that you try to tackle here to what went wrong with the arab spring? we're in a situation right now where people are famous for this enormous one refugee problem out of the middle east and two, these failed states. made [inaudible] destabilization the less, and how you get out of that situation? >> it is very hard. inthere is any consolation the current situation, i think we're kind of near the bottom of how bad it can get. it is hard to see how places get much worse.
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libya is going to get worse next year because along with the kind of division between the different militias, you're also headed for economic crash coming to libya next year. they are just running out of money. it is hard to say how syria and iraq get worse. -- it is hard to see what an intervention looks like. i've often thought, what is the obama administration's foreign policy the region? i don't think it really has one. it is utterly reactive. but then it is hard to imagine what a proactive policy would look like. i mean, what do you do in a place like syria? at least in iraq, there now seems to be an operating coalition against isis, but i think -- i personally feel militarily, isis is going to be pretty much destroyed in the near future.
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is isis is not just -- it not a guerrilla group anymore. it is an idea. i was talking about these young men. yet millions and millis of young men throw the middle east with no economic futures who are not necessarily religious or even political in any way, but also what you have dropped the region is a kind of built-in resentment against the west. breeding ground is when to continue on. i don't see how you deactivate that. amy: well, we want to thank you for being with us. >> thank you. amy: any word to the wise on how to read this entire issue, which also has a virtual reality tour? >> i don't know. isis hard to say how -- it been my baby for your and a half. i don't know how to suggest how to treat it. -- the it is the story
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six stories are interwoven and i think maybe to find the stories -- different stories will resonate with different people. amy: thank you, scott anderson, who has written this remarkable total issue of the "new york times magazine" called "fractured lands: how the arab , world came apart." that does it for our broadcast. a very special congratulations todave enders and his wife monica. sophie grace, welcome to the world. democracy now! is hiring a news producer. go to democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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